These easy to make light and minty cookies are the perfect topping for a dip of rich bittersweet chocolate and generous sprinkle of crushed peppermint candies (this is also a great way to use up those leftover candy canes from Christmas!). I loosely followed a recipe from Martha Stewart but left out the red food coloring to keep the meringue looking "snowy" and only used a scant 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract. After I piped out the meringue stars i sprinkled the tops with edible glitter before baking to give a sparkling snow effect. When the cookies were baked dry and completely cooled I melted 1 cup bittersweet chocolate and stirred in 1 teaspoon vegetable oil until smooth. Each cookie was dunked half-way into the melted chocolate and then into the crushed peppermints. I placed the dipped cookies onto a silpat or parchment lined sheet to let the chocolate set for 30 minutes. These cookies are best eaten the day they are made as they absorb moisture from the air and become a little chewy! If you are not eating the cookies right away make sure you store them in an airtight container. Here is how you can make your own:
The basic recipe for the meringue cookie can be found here. Before starting, make sure that your mixing bowl, whisk attachment, large star piping tip and piping bag are all grease-free by wiping everything down with some white vinegar on a paper towel. Rinse and dry everything and set aside. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper, set aside. Crush a few cups of candy canes or peppermint candies into small pieces. Place in a shallow bowl and set aside. Preheat oven to 250 degrees, when you are ready to bake the meringues lower the temperature to 200 degrees. I found this temperature worked a little better than the 175 degrees called for in the original recipe. Separate three room temperature eggs, making sure that the whites have no bits of yolk in them or they won't whip. Set the yolks aside for another use and place the room temperature egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add 3/4 cup sugar to the yolks and place over a pan of simmering water. Stir the egg and sugar until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is warm to the touch. Transfer the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk the mixture until foamy. I added a pinch of cream of tarter for a little more stability to the meringue. Add the peppermint extract. Turn the mixer to high and whisk until firm peaks form.
Transfer the meringue to the piping bag and quickly pipe out cookies onto the prepared baking sheet. The cookies do not spread so you can pipe them fairly close together. When finished piping all the cookies, sprinkle the tops with edible glitter and bake in the 200 degree oven for 1 hour and 40 minutes, or until dry and crisp, but not browned. Let the baked cookies cool completely on a wire rack.
When the cookies are cooled, melt 1 cup bittersweet chocolate with 1 teaspoon vegetable oil and mix until smooth and shiny. Dip each cookie half-way into the chocolate, letting the excess drip off, then place into the bowl with crushed peppermints, pressing the candies into the chocolate.
Place on baking sheet lined with silpat or parchment and let chocolate set for 30 minutes. Store any uneaten cookies in an airtight container. Cookies will probably loose their crispness but they are still good! This recipe makes around 16 cookies.